#PCOSawareness Day 29: My biggest triumph

Today, Tuesday 29th Sept 2020 is Day 29 of #PCOSawarenessMonth and Verity is focusing on the topic of 'My Biggest Triumph'. Today is also #WorldHeartDay which raises awareness of all things cardiovascular. Both of these topics are close to my heart (groan!) as my biggest triumph was surviving a myocardial infarction (heart attack) on 16th Aug 2017.  I also have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Did you know that latest research from the British Heart Foundation has discovered the heart contains 11 different cell types and…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 16: Biggest PCOS myth

A myth can be defined as: 'a widely held but false belief or idea'. From reading published academic literature (I am doing a PhD on PCOS at Huddersfield University) to talking with men and women wherever I am speaking (conferences, seminars etc) one of the common myths that I hear often repeated about PCOS is 'it only affects women of reproductive age'. Indeed, the large majority of research focused on PCOS includes women in the age category of 18-45 years.  So you could be forgiven for thinking that those younger and older than…continue reading →

#PCOS awareness Day 15: Empower Tuesday

The challenge from Verity today for #PCOSawarenessMonth is to think about what empowers us on through our PCOS journey. The responses on Twitter from women living with PCOS have been numerous: taking control of diet and activity levels; sharing how they feel with loved ones and close friends; imparting others with knowledge. For me, it is sharing my story of living with PCOS and helping others to understand the real impact of the syndrome. This gives me the best feeling of being empowered. Some people like to quote 'Knowledge is Power' - and…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 14: Mindfulness Monday

Now that for many people lockdown is easing, some are going back into the office, back to school... and I'm hoping to be back on Huddersfield University campus next Wednesday (not that I'm counting the days or owt!!), it's good to stay mindful. Mindfulness is about being 'in the moment'.  Of making yourself consciously aware of what is surrounding you and going on with you. It is NOT about emptying your mind, but of being aware of your breath, and using all your senses to taste, smell, listen, and touch your surroundings. For…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 13: Who supports me?

If you have been following my daily blogs for #PCOSawarenessMonth you will have learnt many things about me and my lived experience with PCOS.  Today however is different.  Today I get the amazing honour and privilege to SHOUT about the wonderful people who support me along this rollercoaster of a life journey.  I aim to practice gratitude on a daily basis and often thank the people in person who support me through the good and bad of life. People in the general public arena though won't see the 'behind the scenes' support crew. …continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 12: Daily PCOS struggles

Today's challenge by Verity for #PCOSawarenessMonth is to list your daily struggles in living with PCOS. For my Tweet today (@BigPictureLivin) I listed my main two struggles as being: Unsolicited comments & judgement from others about my symptoms The constant need to re-frame negative head chatter based on my PCOS symptoms and how they affect me (To be continued...)continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 11: What I need you to understand…

Whenever I go and talk at a seminar / conference or share my personal story of living with PCOS, one of my first questions I always ask is "Who has ever heard of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?"  Occasionally one or two hands go up.  My follow-up question is "What do you think it affects?"  The answer is always a variation of "getting pregnant and having kids". What I need you to understand today is that living with PCOS is so much more than just having problems getting pregnant! As I mentioned in my…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 10: PCOS pants

Today, Thur 10th September 2020, is International Gynecology Awareness Day. Although PCOS is far more than just a fertility / gynecology issue, (see Day 11 blog for more details on this!) one of the long-term health risks associated with a diagnosis of PCOS is endometrial cancer. Women who have very infrequent periods – fewer than four a year – may have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer, if the womb lining (endometrium) becomes too thick. Fortunately, this type of cancer is still quite rare and the risk can be minimised by using…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 9: What I Wore Wednesday

Purple is the designated colour of Verity, the UK charity set up in 1997 to support women living with polycystic ovary syndrome. They have grown from strength to strength and now raise awareness about the condition and promote & disseminate research. Today is #WhatIWoreWednesday so it's a PURPLE day today!!  Fortunately I like purple and I think it suits my skin tone too.  As in this recent picture, I have also been known to dye my hair purple (albeit by accident the first time!!). It got me wondering what I could actually write…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 8: PCOS tips for newbies

It was way back in 1991 when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  At that time the GP could tell me very little about the condition, other than it was to blame for my excess facial hair and lack of periods.  I was told that losing weight would also help to get rid of my symptoms. Hmm... When I saw the hospital gynecologist, he asked if I wanted kids - I said no.  I hated myself and the way I looked so much, why would any man be interested in me?! …continue reading →